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EnGendeRights Position Paper Senate Sept 5 Final

EnGendeRights Position Paper Senate Sept 5 Final

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Published by: Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network on Sep 09, 2011
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08/15/2012

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 Asserting Women’s Rights
1September 5, 2011
TO: Philippine SenateRE: Position Paper on the Constitutionality of the RH BillContact Person:Atty Clara Rita “Claire” A. Padilla
 Executive DirectorEnGendeRights, Inc.Telefax: (+632) 3762578Mobile Landline: (+632) 6645696Mobile: (+63)918-2182682Email:engenderights@pldtdsl.net;padillaclara@yahoo.com Website:www.engenderights.org Blog:http://clararitapadilla.blogspot.com 
Position Paper on the Constitutionality of the RH Bill
EnGendeRights respectfully submits this position paper on the constitutionality of the Reproductive Health Care bill (“RH bill”) to the Philippine Senate for the immediatepassage of the RH bill into law.
I. Prefatory Statement
The RH bill is consistent with existing laws such as the Local Government Codeof 1991, Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710), Philippine AIDS Prevention and ControlAct of 1998 (RA 8504), and international laws.The RH bill upholds righs that are constitutionally guaranteed. The RH billupholds the rights to reproductive health, equal protection of the law and privacy. TheRH bill will contribute towards the decrease in number of unintended pregnancies andmaternal deaths related to pregnancy, childbirth, and unsafe abortion which could be
 
EnGendeRights, Inc.
88-A Calumpit St., Veterans Village, Quezon City, 1105, PhilippinesTelefax. no. (+632) 376-2578, engenderights@pldtdsl.net, www.engenderights.org
 
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 Asserting Women’s Rights
2averted with increased access to modern contraceptives, sexuality education, andmaternal care services including skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care.Contraceptives are not abortifacient. The passage of the RH bill into law upholdsthe constitutional guarantees on separation of church and state and non-establishment of religion and will clearly manifest that conservative religious beliefs should not be used asbasis for crafting Philippine laws. Public officials must enact laws that ensure women’sright to life and health and public health and not those that aid religion. As decided byour Supreme Court, our standard in law should be secular standard and not religiousstandards. All these constitutional guarantees are there to maintain public good anduphold human rights.Our laws should take into consideration international human rights standards,realities women face, public health, and medical science. Public officials should work towards a humane society where no woman should die from pregnancy, childbirth, andunsafe abortion. Good governance demands ensuring the right to control one’s fertilitywith proper access to information, supplies and services on reproductive health includingmodern contraceptives and the right to sexuality education.In light of the obligation of the Philippine government to protect women’s rightsto equality, non-discrimination, life and health under the Convention on the Eliminationof All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Magna Carta of Women, it is imperative that the Philippine Senate immediately pass the RH bill into law.
II. Arguments/DiscussionA. Access to Contraceptives is a Fundamental RightA.1. Standard Definitions Based on International Medical, Scientificand Human Rights StandardsA.1.a. ChildA.1.b. Fertilization, Conception, and PregnancyA.1.c. Contraceptives and Hysterectomy Are Not Methods of AbortionA.1.d. Legal Personality Attaches upon BirthA.2. Contraceptives Are Not AbortifacientA.2.a. Jurisprudence on Contraceptives Not BeingAbortifacientA.2.b. Emergency Contraceptive Pills Are Not AbortifacientA.2.b.1. Global Acceptance of Emergency Contraceptive PillsA.2.c. Findings on IUDsA.3. Public Health Relevance; Health Burden on Women in thePhilippines; Millenium Development Goals
 
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 Asserting Women’s Rights
3
A.4. Findings and Recommendations of Treaty Monitoring Bodies onthe Philippines in Relation to Unwanted Pregnancies, Access toInformation and Services on Modern Contraceptives, EarlyPregnancies and Maternal DeathsA.5. Benefits of Providing Access to Sexuality Education and ModernContraceptivesB. The RH Bill is ConstitutionalB.1. The Constitution Mandates the Philippine Government to MakeModern Contraceptives AvailableB.2. Existing Laws Mandate the Philippine Government to MakeModern Contraceptives Available and to Conduct SexualityEducationB.2.a Existing Laws Mandate the Philippine to Make ModernContraceptives AvailableB.2.a.1. Local Government Code on Modern ContraceptivesB.2.a.2. Magna Carta of Women on Modern ContraceptivesB.2.b. Existing Laws Mandate the Philippine Government toConduct of Sexuality EducationB.2.b.1. Magna Carta of Women on Sexuality EducationB.2.b.2. AIDS Prevention ActB.2.c. Labor Code on Modern ContraceptivesB.2.d. Ordinances Upholding the Right to ContraceptivesHave Been Passed in the PastB.3. Right to PrivacyB.4. The State’s Constitutional Duty to Defend the Rights of Spousesand Families to Found a Family in Accordance with their ReligiousConvictionsB.5. Equal Protection of the LawB.6. The RH Bill is Reasonable, Impartial and Promotes Equality andNon-DiscriminationB.7.
C
onstitutional Protection on Separation of Church and State andNon-Establishment of ReligionB.8. Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion

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